In light of how small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have been struggling during the pandemic, CIMB has introduced various initiatives on sustainable business practices to help them. These initiatives are more crucial, especially when SMEs make up the bulk of businesses in Malaysia.
According to SME Corp Malaysia, 98.5% of Malaysian businesses in Malaysia are SMEs.
But why is sustainability important in the first place?
Being sustainable simply means being able to continue doing something without compromising or depleting your resources. For businesses, this means being able to operate successfully in the long-term, regardless of any changes that can happen in that business.
Speaking of changes, the pandemic has forced many businesses to rethink the way in which they run. This is exactly why sustainability is needed now more than ever, as in these challenging times, businesses must learn to adapt and take up practices that can keep them going.
CIMB is stepping in to help SMEs
But even if a SME owner wants to incorporate sustainable practices into their business, they might not know how to go about it.
That’s why if you own an SME, you can consider CIMB your one-stop financial institution that offers you a variety of ways to make your business more sustainable. From their Financial Assistance Programmes, to programmes that help you upskill as an entrepreneur, to helping you go green, CIMB is ready to get your sustainability journey started.
1. Renewable Energy Financing
Being environmentally sustainable means running your business in a way that isn’t harmful to the environment, and using environmentally-friendly ways to operate. With their Renewable Energy Financing, CIMB is encouraging more businesses to be conscious of the impact of their business on the environment. This initiative is essentially financing to install a solar photovoltaic system on business premises.
If you’ve been wanting to switch to a greener method of running your office, this is exactly what you need. You’ll also get flexible tenure of up to 10 years.
Do note that this initiative is open to all SMEs with a CIMB property loan or financing and you can only install a rooftop solar photovoltaic system. The financing application is subject to the Bank’s credit assessment and approval.
For more information on this, click here.
2. Helping SMEs become more digitized
Like we said earlier, the pandemic has taught us the importance of having to change with the present times. For many businesses that used to operate physically, surviving during Covid-19 meant moving their business online and becoming digitized. Apart from businesses that made the switch, we also saw many new businesses that cropped up online.
But pandemic or not, there are many perks to digitizing a business. For one, it’s more secure as any transaction you make will be safely recorded. There are also reduced costs, as you won’t have to worry about always having a physical office.
Besides that, marketing your business will be a lot easier, especially if you have a strong social media presence, and you’ll be able to reach a lot more potential customers.
For more information on what CIMB is doing in this respect, click here.
3. EVA, CIMB’s Chatbot
Apart from offering initiatives to help your business be more sustainable, CIMB also wants to make that help more accessible to you in the first place.
That is why they created their chatbot, EVA. EVA, a well-trained chatbot that’s been modelled after CIMB Singapore’s chatbot, has the ability to answer your questions on the kind of help you can get from CIMB. EVA can also let you know whether you’re eligible for assistance and if you are, it will point you to available options.
With EVA, CIMB has managed to cut down their customers’ wait times drastically as it will get back to you with a response in under 24 hours. If you use EVA, you won’t even need to be physically present at the bank, but you can still get your queries answered efficiently.
We recently wrote an in-depth article on EVA and how you can access it. You can give that article a read here:
4. CIMB Online e-Statement
CIMB is also committed to reducing their (and your) carbon footprint. This is where CIMB’s Online e-Statement comes into the picture. The goal is to progressively move CIMB’s mode of communication from paper-based to digital statements, starting with the Business Current Account/-i monthly statements. Besides the environmental benefits, these are some other perks of CIMB’s Online e-Statements:
- You don’t need to worry about having to store tons of paper for record purposes. Everything is stored digitally.
- Downloading the Online e-Statements from BizChannel@CIMB will give you robust security features.
- You get to export your Online e-Statements in CSV format (in addition to PDF) for easy reconciliation.
What are other efforts CIMB has taken?
buySolar: Switch to Renewable
The world is slowly transitioning to a low-carbon economy, powered by renewables and alternative energy. CIMB is the first financing partner for buySolar—Malaysia’s first one-stop online marketplace for solar installation connecting solar buyers and suppliers—to offer both Islamic and conventional financial solutions to fund solar energy solutions for both the residential and business segments.
CIMB Card holders are also eligible for a 10% discount when they make the switch to solar power.
You can read up on other sustainable practices that CIMB has adapted here.